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Pinning of Arthritic toe. (Yuck!)

Does anyone know anything about arthritic toes?

January 2014 had me waggling my big toe, which I assumed was a bunion, in front of a foot surgeon. "That's not a bunion", he said, "That's severe arthritis and you'll be horrified when you see the x-ray". And, indeed I was. So that's why my foot has hurt so much and why I haven't been able to buy a court shoe in years.

Was going to let him cut my toe joint up and immobilise it with a screw (Yeuch!!!) but unfortunately had a bit of a health bliip so couldn't get it done. So having recovered from vile treatment etc I got back to C25K wearing my stalwart barefoot trainers which somehow seem to be ok for my foot. However, now it's getting worse again and something's happening to my other foot.

Burning question, therefore, is:

1.Does anyone here run with a pinned toe using a mid or forefoot strike?

2.Am I living in cloud cukoo land thinking that I might be able to run again after having my toe joint cut out and a big screw put in my toe?

10 Replies

I had a bunion removed in 2010 and the movement of my foot has never been the same since, and I do indeed (unbeknown to me until I had an xray for something else about 3 years later) have a pin in my toe! It doesn't seem to make any difference to my running. But I can't bend the foot very well or scrunch up my toes like I used to, and kneeling on the floor trying to do stuff I used to do is impossible because of that. If it restricts you or hurts you, ask your GP or surgeon, but I doubt there is much which could be done about it ...


Thanks , Useit! My big toe is completely useless and I don't have any voluntary control of it at all now. Glad that it hasn't stopped you from running. You're amazing! Yes, I need to contact the surgeon again and chat it over with him. I just hate the thought of not being able to run and, if I can run, having to do C25K for the third time! (You'll be relieved that I just deleted an asterixed swear word- it seemed a bit unseemly for a Monday lunchtime!)


Ok for a Tuesday though?!


Ha ha B******s! Save it for tomorrow!

1 like

I have an arthritic big toe but I take an omega 3 fish oil capsule every day and that seems to keep the pain under control. I've had it for years! It doesn't affect my running at all as my running shoes support it just fine.

I've not been to the docs with mine as I don't really do doctors


No, I'm not keen on doctors and neither is my husband and he is one!

Only reason I went with mine was that it was getting increasingly painful and also trying to get shoes that I can wear is seriously difficult. So I thought; either get dear old Aunty NHS to see if she can help, or fork out mega-bucks and have shoes made. (I actually quite like the last idea, but then I saw how much that could run to!!!)

I could try the omega 3 capsules though, that's a good idea! Thanks for advice!


I took the Omega 3 initially for me shoulders and elbows which were grinding and painful. The relief to my big toe was a bonus. If I forget to take the daily pill my big toe soon reminds me. Ouch. It's ok with running which I'm really pleased about. Sometimes if I wear a normal shoe that doesn't support it properly, say with a thin sole, it protests then.

Good luck with it!


-Sounds good to me. I shall get some as I'm starting back to work (hopefully) and will be on my feet for 12 hr shifts so don't want to have to take time off to get it fixed. I didn't think that having to say "Thanks for the job and by the way, I need 3 months off and will still be hobbling when I get back"!


OK, my mum has arthritis in her toe joint after a break in her 20s that didn't heal quite right. She considered having it pinned but didn't in the end as she does loads of hiking and didn't want to be out of action for so long and then unable to stuff her foot into her walking boots.

It's been variably painful-agonising for the last 10 years, off and on. She kept walking on it anyway and it was mostly bearable, but she walks every day and makes sure she keeps moving, which may have helped.

It's now pretty much fused itself, stopped hurting and she can run on it (though I dunno what sort of foot strike she has).

I'm not sure about running on it if it was pinned though. She still has a (little!) bit of natural movement in the joint.

1 like

Thanks lovely Welsh tea-fairy! At some stage I shall go back to the surgeon chappie and have a longer talk as my toe is useless now and I suspect that it's fusing, too. Why have an operation if what the surgeon will do will happen naturally? I think, his point was that it would ensure that the toe is set in a particular way so it is certain that the foot remains usable.

Glad your Mum's running and hiking etc. That's what I aim to keep doing!


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